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Hundreds Expelled, Many Arrested, For Cheating In India's School Exams 233

Etherwalk writes Sources conflict, but it looks like as many as 300 people have been arrested for cheating in the Indian state of Bihar after the Hindustan Times published images of dozens of men climbing the walls of a test center to pass answers inside. 500-700+ students were expelled and police had been bribed to look the other way. Xinhau's version of the story omits any reference to police bribery, while The ABC's omits the fact that police fired guns into the air.
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Hundreds Expelled, Many Arrested, For Cheating In India's School Exams

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  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @12:21AM (#49311523)

    How can they crank out "qualified applicants" at bargain basement prices, if they cant get ahold of disreputable young people with dodgy diplomas for bargain basement prices?

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @02:10AM (#49311833) Homepage Journal

      Having worked with a number of H1Bs from India, I'd say their level of technical competency was pretty comparable to what you'd expect from Americans. Some were horrible, a few were outstanding, most were OK.

      There were two big differences. The first was the large number of masters degrees. This is obviously helpful in the visa process, but I don't think a CS or IT master's degree obtained right after college without any intervening work experience means much in practical terms. This is the kernel of truth in the "dodgy diploma" complaint, except there's nothing wrong with the diploma. It's often from a perfectly good program at a US university, it's just gilding the inexperienced lily.

      The second big difference is culture. I don't think either culture has an overall advantage, but Indian engineers tend to be can-do and highly conscientious but are often conflict-averse and reluctant to convey bad news. Americans tend to be more assertive in the face of authority and somewhat less likely to tell the boss what they think he wants to hear rather than what he needs to hear. But it's important to realize that engineers are individuals, not cultural automatons. Some Americans are door mats and some Indian engineers are firebrands. And overall engineers from either country are more like each other than they are like ordinary people.

      While I think the economic arguments for H1B are bogus, I am grateful to the program for having introduced me to so many interesting people.

      My take on the issue of cheating in India is that the stakes are so much higher for some Indians it'd be surprising not to have scandals like this. We Americans see being middle class as a birthright. There isn't a bottomless bit of poverty waiting to swallow us up if we're a few points short of par on our SATs, the way there is for many Indians trying to climb onto the lower rungs of the middle class ladder. But even so *we* cheat plenty. Remember the Air Force officers who shared answers for tests that were supposed to measure their ongoing competency to handle nuclear weapons? That was sheer laziness.

      • My experience is the same. H1Bs are pretty much just like American engineers, good & bad. One guy I worked with was really good but I couldn't understand a thing he said. Another spoke great English but couldn't do anything without being micromanaged.

        I used to teach a CAD class at a local community college & what I learned was people are the same no matter where on this planet they are from.

  • I Don't Understand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @12:36AM (#49311559)

    Have you seen those pictures? So... this apparently isn't some sneaky "we couldn't tell they were cheating" issue. This was the examiners apparently not caring at all about blatant cheating going on right in front of them. I mean, you really can't miss this, right? That being the case, why wouldn't the students just hide the crib sheets on them somehow, or cheat in a way that's not quite as likely to involve a family member falling to death from outside the building's third and fourth story windows?

    Can anyone give a plausible explanation? I'm genuinely curious.

    • by bayankaran ( 446245 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @01:08AM (#49311649) Homepage
      The explanation is that there is no 'plausible explanation'.
      Bihar is THE poorest state in India by many metrics. The way out of poverty and squalor for a majority is getting a good score in the Secondary School leaving exams - or minimum pass the damn exam - where you qualify for state / central recruitment, military, admissions to college and so on.
      Just like BRICS, India got BIMARU states - Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh to signify 'sick' states - BIMARU in Hindi means 'unhealthy condition'. Think of a BIMARU state as Appalachia or Louisana, but more downtrodden and poor.
      Here is an anecdote from my uncle - who did his MSc in Physics way back in the late 1980's from Kanpur, a big city in Bihar's neighboring state Uttar Pradesh - another basket case. The college he studied is DAV College, Kanpur, next to the big cricket stadium Green Park.
      During the exams students were three types of service by the local strongmen - mostly wannabe politicians, with support from the caste based political parties...the cheapest tier will allow you to copy from your notes during the exams. The middle tier will allow you to write the exam from your hostel room. The topmost tier they will find someone else who is an expert in the subject to write the exam for you.
      These wannabe politicians later represent the state and its constituents in the local and central governments. And now you can understand where are how the criminality of the typical North Indian caste based politician comes from....its inbred. Only the toughest and the most criminal will survive.
      I am from Kerala - an entirely different world from the BIMARU States. Think of upstate New York or Pennsylvania - but more tropical. The world described above is alien to us...just like its alien to you.
      • Give up testing altogether. Help everyone get to an A+ level.

        • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @02:01AM (#49311813)

          Give up testing altogether. Help everyone get to an A+ level.

          No amount of education is going to cram an understanding of calculus into the head of someone who is incapable of learning calculus.

          How do you propose we get those people "to an A+ level" in calculus? This is not something you can "give" someone, so it's not like we are "selfishly withholding" an understanding of calculus from them. They are just incapable of learning calculus.

          So your suggestion is rather naive at best, and lacking in critical thinking skills at worst. It's like asking society to help someone with no arms and no legs "get to an A+ level" in juggling. It's just not going to happen, ever.

          If you had critical thinking skills, you'd recognize that equality of opportunity does not guarantee equality of outcome, no matter how much time, effort, and money you pour into trying to make it untrue.

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            Apparently, the problem is that nobody can learn calculus from a teacher that doesn't know calculus. But those with aptitude can hope that if they cheat their way past the arbitrary cutoff, perhaps they will get the opportunity to actually learn the material later. If they don't cheat, they will have no such opportunity to make it right later, through no fault of their own.

            • Apparently, the problem is that nobody can learn calculus from a teacher that doesn't know calculus. But those with aptitude can hope that if they cheat their way past the arbitrary cutoff, perhaps they will get the opportunity to actually learn the material later. If they don't cheat, they will have no such opportunity to make it right later, through no fault of their own.

              An education is not something you are given.

              An education is something you TAKE.

              If your teacher sucks, that's too bad for your teacher, but presumably the book you are using was written by someone who didn't suck. And yes, it will require more work on your part to TAKE your education from the system in that case, but it is *possible*, if it's possible for you to understand calculus in the first place.

              The problem in the news article is all the people attempting to shortcut putting in effort, in order to get

              • by sjames ( 1099 )

                Many text books are actually not that useful without a lecture from a teacher that knows the subject. If you have a half decent library or affordable book store nearby, that problem can be solved readily enough. If not, you might find yourself stuck. Your best bet might be fake it till you make it. That is, get past the test any way you can and then use the increased income or the better school with an actual library that follows to buy or borrow the books you should have been able to read in the first plac

                • Your best bet might be fake it till you make it. That is, get past the test any way you can and then use the increased income or the better school with an actual library that follows to buy or borrow the books you should have been able to read in the first place but couldn't.

                  Any increased income you receive from such a strategy will be ephemeral. You will be fired due to incompetence, and then when people in management within that industry sector get together for lunch and talk (and they will) and you come up in conversation (which if you applied for another position within the same industry sector, you will), and your incompetence becomes generally known, you will be blackballed and unable to find work.

                  You are much better off resorting to criminal activity with a low probabil

          • No amount of education is going to cram an understanding of calculus into the head of someone who is incapable of learning calculus.

            Calculus is trivial. Anyone within a standard deviation or two of median intelligence should be able to learn it if they have a teacher who understands it. The widespread lack of understanding is just a reflection of how badly we fail, as a society, to educate.

          • by Livius ( 318358 )

            It's like asking society to help someone with no arms and no legs "get to an A+ level" in juggling.

            It's quite astonishing the number of people who believe that that kind of idiocy is some kind of fundamental human right.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            It's like asking society to help someone with no arms and no legs "get to an A+ level" in juggling.

            Possibly not juggling. But would you accept a gymnast with no legs [youtube.com]?

    • by ami.one ( 897193 )

      And leave out all the thrill and excitement, the sense of purpose & team spirit, bonding etc ? Nah.

      Climbing up 3-4 floors from the side of a building and surreptitiously solving and providing answers to your best pal while hiding from teachers, cops etc. balanced on a tiny ledge. Who wouldn't want to do that during their teenage years ?

  • by sound+vision ( 884283 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @12:36AM (#49311561) Journal
    This link to the fucking article:
    http://www.hindustantimes.com/... [hindustantimes.com]
    Has a fucking hilarious picture that you fucking have to see. Made my fucking day.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 22, 2015 @12:43AM (#49311577)

    I know I'm not. My Indian students would always be shocked during their first test that they were caught cheating. Some were honestly surprised that I wouldn't allow it.

  • I Misinterpreted The Rules [southparkstudios.co.uk]

    Maybe we do have something in common with India, after all!

  • Remember, the best cheaters will be arriving on our shores (United States) within a few short years, thanks to the H1B programs!

    • This cheating is not common in the institutes from where H1B visa people are selected. But I guess it's easier to spout bullshit like a dumbass than find out the facts.

      • Oh, really? Well, instead of calling names and passing out insults, you might have told us exactly where H1B candidates come from. You might even have supplied some source which helps to verify the integrity of those sources. To me - it sounds like YOU are spouting bullshit like a dumbass. "Cheating is not common" probably means that cheating is less flagrant than the instance being reported here.

        • This is a freaking 10th class test. It's inconsequential in every way. The exams which do matter (like the IIT entrance exam) are very well administered. There is zero cheating in them. The tests themselves can be said to be useless, but there is no cheating involved. Also, a large number of H1B visas are people who have a master's degree from USA. Their degrees and accomplishments are NOT the products of cheating.
          Cheating is not common means that events like these are outliers and they are dealt with very

          • "just plain ignorant"

            You DO realize that ignorance can be corrected. Unfortunately, stupidity cannot be corrected.

            That said, I'm not sure that I believe your assessment. We are talking about a nation with some very backward views and attitudes. Have you watched the movie, "India's Daughter"? I'm not a movie watcher, and I probably wouldn't have watched this one, but the Streisand Effect kicked in when India's government tried to kill the movie. Of course, I don't base my assessment on just the movie -

          • This is a freaking 10th class test. It's inconsequential in every way.

            If that were true, then there wouldn't be so many people trying to cheat.

  • by msobkow ( 48369 )

    Sadly, it's a cultural thing. The first Indian I met was caught with a forged degree from a University he never went to. Over the years as I've gotten to work and know more Indians, I found an endemic culture of cheating on taxes, cheating on business deals, ripping off customers, degrees bought from diploma mills, and most recently, refusing to honour their own restaurant's gift certificates when you tried to cash them in.

    Worse, every single one of these individuals bragged about how they "beat the sy

    • Fraudulent degrees are grounds for immediate deportation, because it means the H-1B petition was perjured.

  • by sir_eccles ( 1235902 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @01:51AM (#49311791)

    Only those funny foreigners cheat. Never happens here in the US...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2... [wikipedia.org]

    • Blatant cheating (Score:4, Insightful)

      by phorm ( 591458 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @03:43AM (#49312047) Journal

      OK, so the students somehow got the exam answers. The University actually caught it because SOMEBODY WAS DOING THEIR FUCKING JOB, and reporting it. It went up the chain, and the students got dealt with. It's embarrassing, but it doesn't appear that the university condoned the cheating in any way. I'm sure some people do cheat, and manage not to get caught, but at least they system is set up so that they have to be lucky/sneaky to do so.

      Now compare to this situation. People are climbing the walls. It's BLATANTLY FUCKING OBVIOUS that it was happening, so why didn't the institution deal with it before it became a viral web sensation?

      I'm sorry, but when parents in Harvard, Oxford, or even NoName U are scaling walls and passing notes to the kids in plain view... then you can make a comparison against the host countries. The "well, other people do it too" explanation has got to be one of the worst type of enablers for sort of behavior, and even so there's simply no comparison.

    • by itzly ( 3699663 )

      Apparently, cheating is rare enough that a single event is worthy of its own wikipedia entry.

  • It would explain some of the "experts" hired on H-1B visas recently.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      Sounds like a perfect match with employers who post literally impossible qualifications (5 years experience in a 3 year old technology for example) and then when they don't find a local qualified applicant, miraculously find the literally impossible H1-B candidate.

      • employers who post literally impossible qualifications (5 years experience in a 3 year old technology for example)

        Are you sure they aren't trying to poach someone who worked at the company producing the technology during the two years before release?

  • hold your horses (Score:5, Informative)

    by shakuni ( 644197 ) on Sunday March 22, 2015 @02:42AM (#49311923)

    before any of you start saying India this and India that, ban H1B, nuke em all etc. Just remember this is one image and India is 1.3 million Sq mile in area with 29 states, 7 Union Territories, 122 major languages and 1599 other languages, 3 sign languages, 6 major religions, oral literature dating back to 1500 BCE, some of the richest and the poorest people, at least 14 different ethnic groups, 6 national level political parties, 1800 total political parties... etc. India is not " is" India "are". So please take a nuanced approach to everything. Read, learn, present arguments with humility that you know only a small fraction of what needs to be known to even take a position on this country.

    • So we have them beat on square miles, number of states, number of territories, number of sign languages, number of major religions, oral literature, number of ethnic groups, and richest and poorest people!

      Obviously we are falling behind on total languages and national level political parties (we could fix that last by getting rid of the electoral college) and total political parties.

      Truly, we need to close the "Tower of Babel" gap, the better to not be able to communicate effectively, but you can't always b

  • For them to do something about it and save face. Sweet.
  • 10th class exams are the easiest exams ever! Also, they are TOTALLY inconsequential. In fact, they are optional if your school is affiliated to the most popular board (CBSE). So we are talking about a test that is of so less consequence that you can say "fuck it, I don't need this shit" and everybody is fine with that. And even if you decide to take it, it's so easy that most students cram the entire yearly syllabus in about a month and get decent scores, sans cheating. I really cannot understand why such a

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